Greg, I don't have any great spots for small mouth. Most of the ones I've caught have been by catch when out for pan fish in the Wauchusset (SP) reservoir.
The material for the tails is fairly tough. Its probably not blue fish tough, but how many materials are?
The Housy is one of those rivers I have always wanted to fish. Growing up in Connecticut I always heard tales of the great fishing. What always happened whenever I started out for there is that I would see the Farmington when driving west on Rt 44 and never make it any further than New Hartford. I spent a lot of time on the Farmington, even driving down from Boston for an evening hatch and back after dark. I've only been back once since my son was born though.
I've never targeted small mouth in the Connecticut river, only panfish with my grandfather in the Wethersfield cove or trout in Pittsburgh NH. Long ago I did get credible reports of good fishing behind the Loomis Chaffe school on the Farmington in Windsor, just up stream of the confluence with the Connecticut.
Worm hatch pattern, I wish I had thought of that.
Enjoy the material, and if it works out in the crab flies post on it.
Bronze Back Clave How about mid -late July on the Millers river I've heard the fishing is good there.